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Scenic Byway from Dover to Cleveland
Part of America’s Byways, the Ohio & Erie Canalway Scenic Byway is a 110-mile adventure tracing the history of the Ohio and Erie Canal system. The canal was the first inland waterway link from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico, while the trail was the second nationally designated scenic byway in Ohio.
If traveling from the south, be sure to take exit 83 at the State Route 211 from Interstate 77. This puts you right in Dover – a quaint Ohio city just north of New Philadelphia and Uhrichsville.
A 200-year-old city, Dover is teeming with museums and cultural sites. Visit the Warther's Museum or J. E. Reeves Victorian Home, or check the event calendar at the Schoenbrunn Amphitheatre and Tuscarawas Center for the Arts.
It’s no secret northeastern Ohio is wine country. Welcoming vineyards like Breitenbach Wine Cellars, Silver Moon Winery, the adorable School House Winery, and Swiss Heritage Winery – found at the Broad Run Cheese House – are located right in Dover.
Dover has golf down to a tee. Enjoy one of the many golf courses in the area, including Auman Timbers Golf Course, Willandale Golf Course, and Zoar Village Golf Course.
The Tuscarawas Valley is bustling with outdoor activity the rest of the year as well. Check out the Dover City Pool and Dover Disc Golf course in the summer, bike through the city streets in autumn for some amazing fall foliage, or hit Deis Hill in the winter for some incredible sledding.
From Dover, be sure to follow the Tuscarawas River on SR 800 northeast out of town – you’re now on the Ohio & Erie Canalway Scenic Byway. Turn left onto SR 212 passed Bolivar, then head north on Riverland Avenue until you reach Navarre. Continue north along the river to Massillon, and head east to Canton.
Another historic city along the canalway, Canton is known as the Hall of Fame City, as well as the former stomping grounds of President William McKinley.
Established in 1963, the Pro Football Hall of Fame is a must-do for sports fans and National Football League lovers. Originally founded in 1920 in Canton, the NFL is represented at the Hall of Fame by famous athletes, the Pro Football Today Gallery, the Lamar Hunt Super Bowl Gallery – containing the Super Bowl Theater.
For you history buffs, Canton has much to offer in terms of the nation’s 25th president. Canton is home to the McKinley National Memorial, and the William McKinley Presidential Library & Museum – plus the First Ladies National Historic Site thanks to First Lady Ida Saxton McKinley.
Stark County is known as America’s Playing Field, and for good reason. Visitors may enjoy a picnic at the 18-acre Alpine Community Park, try some disc golf at Arboretum Spiker Park, and find summer activities galore at Baylor Beach Park.
The Canton area is also known as "Ohio's Golf Capital" due to over 20 premiere golf courses – all open to the public. Check out Glenmoor Country Club, Tam O'Shanter Golf Course, and the Fairways at Arrowhead in North Canton.
From Canton, head back west to the Tuscarawas River and SR 236 – or Erie Avenue. Be sure to follow Erie Avenue and the river, hooking north in Clinton and continuing on to Barberton. From there, stay north on SR 93 until you reach Akron, now following the Cuyahoga River.
Set southeast of Copley, Akron is Ohio’s fifth largest city, and host to the University of Akron – plus awesome events, plenty of attractions, and the southern entrance to the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.
Since we’re following the Ohio & Erie Canalway, it’s important to see Lock 3 Park – a historic part of the canal now-turned event venue.
Other attractions in Akron include downtown’s Akron Art Museum, the Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens, and the Akron Zoo.
Akron knows how to party. See if you can plan your Ohio roadtrip around major events like the All American Soap Box Derby in July, closely followed by the National Hamburger Festival. Other events include Founders Day, the Italian Festival, Rib, White & Blue, and First Night.
Akron is set just south of Cuyahoga Valley National Park – a 32,000-acre playground operated by the National Park Service. Instead of driving, you can now hike or bike the Ohio & Erie Canalway along the 20-mile Towpath Trail.
Other outdoor activities include canoeing and kayaking the Cuyahoga River, bird watching, horseback riding, fishing, and golfing at one of four public golf courses within the park. Cuyahoga Valley NP is also home to historic sites like the Stanford House, Frazee House, and several locks along the Canalway.
From Akron or Cuyahoga Valley National Park, follow the Cuyahoga River north along Canal Road. Continue north into Cleveland along the river until you reach the Carter Road Lift Bridge – the end of the Ohio & Erie Canalway Scenic Byway.
Known as Forest City, Cleveland is surrounded by communities like Elyria, and scenic spots on the southern coast of lake Erie. Ohio’s second largest city, Cleveland is home to Cleveland State University, major sports teams, and famed markets and attractions.
As you can imagine, Cleveland has more than a few attractions waiting for you. Explore the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame & Museum, and University Circle – where you'll find the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Cleveland Institute of Music, and the Cleveland Orchestra.
Now that you’ve seen the Hall of Fame in Canton, check out the NFL at work with the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium. Other major sports teams in Cleveland include MLB’s Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field, and NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena.
If you’re looking for a local market, Cleveland’s historic West Side Market is ideal. Established in 1912 and listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places, WSM is found in Ohio City in downtown Cleveland. WSM’s 100 vendors yield fresh produce, flowers, and bread, plus handmade crafts and gifts, and even guided tours.
And if you’re traveling during the holidays, one special spot is the A Christmas Story House – the precise movie set of the famed holiday film.
Known as the Emerald Necklace, Cleveland Metroparks is a collection of public parks – established in 1917 and today covering over 21,000 acres.
Open throughout the year, Cleveland Metroparks features multiuse trails for walking, cycling, and horseback riding – and if you’re not sick of it by now, plenty of golf.